Jack House
The Jack House, 1957 / Photo: Michael Wee
“The tiled area was originally an external space [terrace] but, as the needs of the family grew, it was enclosed to create another room.” 50/60/70 Iconic Australian Houses, by Karen McCartney, p78. (Sydney Living Museum)

Site Overview

site name:
Jack House
Russell Jack, Pamela Jack
(Allen Jack + Cottier)
date of commission:
date of completion:
62 Boundary Road, Wahroonga, NSW
Residential / Houses (RES)
protection status. / heritage listing
– NSW State Heritage Register (01910)
– DOCOMOMO Australia Register
1957 – winner of the Sulman Medal for Domestic design / RAIA (NSW).


The Jack House, in Sydney’s North Shore suburb of Wahroonga, was built in 1957 on the last undeveloped block in the street. The house in itself is economical, a simple L-shape, with family spaces – living/kitchen/dining – to the left of the entrance and bathroom and bedrooms to the right. There is not a great deal of internal division, with spaces flowing into one another and internal walls intentionally non-structural so that the house could morph as the family circumstance altered and grew.

Linking the indoor and outdoor spaces was also integral to the scheme. The site of the house, facing north, involved little disturbance of the vegetation and the same materials were used inside and out to create continuity. The exposed post and beam framing and the unpainted woodwork speak of the honesty of the building and also create its enduring appeal. It is a robust house that has weathered the years well. The house defied many notions of the day in terms of structure and siting and it won the prestigious Sulman Award in 1957.  

Text adapted from an entry by Karen McCartney in Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape and Design 1925-1975, Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad (2019, Thames and Hudson).

Architecture in Australia, July/September 1958 (pp. 76–78)
Karen McCartney, 50/60/70: Iconic Australian Houses (Murdoch Books, 2007).
Peter Salhani, Jack House (1956) revisited, Houses, February 2011 (Published online: 23 Oct 2012)

NSW State Heritage Inventory:

NSW State Heritage Record: Statement of Significance: Reasons for listing; architectural, state significance. / Notable integration of house and site. House won Sulman Award in 1957 – source letter dated 16/04/88, file 3/0152, Vol 2, fol 143 / Modification: Altered or extended unsympathetically.